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Philip John (Bill) Montag 1921-2011

October 6, 2011
Emmetsburg News

FARIBAULT, MN -- Philip John (Bill) Montag, age 89, of Faribault, MN, and formerly of Curlew and Dows, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, peacefully at his home following a brief illness, cared for by his wife and family.

The family will celebrate Bill's life with a visitation and funeral Mass. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, Oct.6, at 11 a.m. at the Divine Mercy Catholic Church (139 Mercy Dr.) in Faribault, MN. Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the church on Thursday.

Interment with military honors will be held on Friday, Oct. 7, 2011 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Cemetery in Mallard.

Philip John (Bill) Montag was born on Oct. 11, 1921 in West Bend, a middle son among the 17 children of Henry and Luna (Sloan) Montag.

He married Oma Marie Allen in West Bend on Aug. 27, 1946 and fathered four sons and five daughters, all of whom loved him very much.

He was preceded in death by his parents; by his son, Randy; and by several of his brothers and sisters, all of whom have been waiting to welcome him to the next life.

He is survived by his wife, Oma; sons, Tom (Mary) of Fairwater, WI. Philip Jr. (Vicky) of Dows, and Henry (Susan) of Manchester; daughters, Kathleen Keilen (Jim) of Faribault, MN, Nancy Gehrke (Jerry) of Mankato, MN, Marilyn Quist (Bill) of Kanawha, Diane Montag of Farmington, MN, and Colleen Vandervort (Dean) of Alden; 28 grandchildren; 30 great grandchildren; several brothers and sisters; and by many friends and neighbors at Curlew and Dows.

Bill reached the rank of First Sergeant in the United States Army's Third Division in the European Theater during World Ward II, an experience he very seldom spoke about. After his discharge from the service and his marriage, he and Oma took up farming at Rodman, then at Curlew for many years before buying a farm of their own at Dows. Many of those early years at Curlew are recounted in Curlew: Home, a memoir by his son, Tom. Eventually retiring from farming, Bill and Oma worked for several years as USDA meat inspectors, living in Mason City and Indianola, and then retiring to Hampton. In 2004, the couple moved to Faribault, MN, to be close to three daughters who could help care for them in their final years.

Bill was a quiet man, never saying much, but he didn't suffer fools gladly. One day a tax assessor, snooping about the place and trying to make small talk, said, "Do you think it will rain?"

"It'll be a hell of a long dry spell if it don't", Bill said.

It wasn't until his hospitalization that his sons and daughters got to see him display his very dry but exquisite sense of humor. If he hadn't been a farmer, he could have been a good stand-up comedian.

All of the family was honored to care for their husband and father during his final illness, one last opportunity to show him how much they loved him.

His legacy to his children, after 65 years of marriage, is that he loved their mother long and steady. Oma says that if she could tell her story, it would be a love story.

The family is grateful to all the Mayo nurses at St. Mary's in Rochester and Cannon Falls Hospital, and to the Rice County Home Health staff and the Faribault Area Hospice for their good care during Bill's last illness.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation of food be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Faribault or memorial to the Faribault Area Hospice in memory of Bill.

Funeral arrangements are being completed with the Parker Kohl Funeral Home & Crematory of Faribault, MN.

For further information and guestbook please visit



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